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Old 10-30-2002, 10:37 PM
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Question Need Hop-Up ideas for Ford 200 C.I. Inline 6

Yep, I already hit the Clifford site. Not ready to spend $$$$ on parts for a surprisingly solid and well-running '81 Fairmont sedan I just picked up for $50. I'm a hotrodder on a budget (ain't we all, to some degree?)
So far, all I've done (after verifying proper tune & condition of related parts, and of course, an LOF) is eliminated the drag of the airpump belt (oughta be worth coupla HP) and replaced the failed clutch fan w/ a much lighter 6 blade flex fan (another few HP). The EGR is also strictly ornamental (she pulls hills far better now).

I'm looking for relatively simple mods & parts that will increase HP & Torque. All my previous cars have been V8's or V6's. If you know of any books or sites w/ performance tips for Ford inline 6's from this engine family (144, 170, 200, 250), or if you have hop-up tips, please let me know.

I have a few ideas, but since my experience is w/ V8's primarily, I'm not sure if I'm on the right track w/ this inline 6.

1) Will it respond to a larger diameter low restriction exhaust, or do these engines like a bit of backpressure? Are Duals a good idea or will this kill low-end Torque?

2) The car now has FoMoCo DuraSpark II Electronic Ignition. Would an Accel or other ignition upgrade be a waste on a car that is primarily a daily driver? Or is there an OEM performance ignition avail for this engine?

3) W/ the idle set to specs, there is vacuum at the distributor advance. I plan to set it up same as my buddy's 66 Ranchero w/ the same engine- Ported vacuum from the carb. I think the Emission control hoses & sensors are whacked out on this 22 yr old 125K car (I've already replaced a number of cracked or loose hoses). I'll probably run a similar advance curve as well.

4) A staged 2 barrel (If I can find one that will fit or can be readily adapted) might also help.
Any suggestions on what cars to look for these on?

5) Would a 2 or 4 degree advance (using an offset key) of the stock cam timing be helpful? It usually is on Pollution motors and is an easy & inexpensive way to boost low-end grunt (at least it is on V8's).

That's all I can think of right now. If you're familiar w/ hopping up these engines, please let me know what you think of my plans.
Thanx!


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Old 10-31-2002, 03:40 AM
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They respond to normal stuff. A set of headers with the center port divider is a good idea and there are several 3-1 barrel conversions out there. The 2bbl is too restricted by the single inlet, that's why Ford and a few others mde the 3-1 conversions. If you can find it, I think Hot Rod book of Engines #3 has a whole segment on building these.
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Old 10-31-2002, 07:41 AM
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Ok.... I'm sure you know that the "real" answer is to bolt in a 5.0 or other V-8. However, assuming you have almost NO cash...here's what I'd do.

As for exhaust... I'd gut the cat & put on an el-cheepo $15 AutoZone turbo muffler or a glass-pack style muffler. Forget about dual exhaust (you only have one cylinder head). Larger pipes are probably not worth it on a close-to-stock motor.

The ignition upgrade would be a total waste (just make sure you've got good plugs/wires/cap/rotor).

Cam degreeing is probably a waste as well & a lot of work on a stock motor. Maybe a larger junkyard carburetor? What kind of used hot rod parts can you find in your area?

As for your distributor "trick"... I wouldn't do it if I were you. Manifold vaccuum and ported vaccuum are not the same thing & a change will dramatically affect your driveability. However, the idea of setting your ignition curve would be pretty cheap and could make you faster, especially if you do it yourself via trial & error using weights/springs in the distributor and/or adjusting the vaccuum advance (possible on Chryslers... Ford, not sure).

You might want to find some shorter rear tires too. That will effectively increase your rear end gear ratio.
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Old 10-31-2002, 11:38 AM
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Thanx for the tips so far. I'll keep checking back for more.
Major engine mods/swaps are out.
I ain't throwing $$$$ at a $50 car, LOL. 'Tho it is solid & does run well.
Besides I enjoy learning and new challenges and this will be the first Ford inline 6 I've tweaked.
I'm looking for Basic, lo-buck tricks that will increase low to mid range Torque & HP.

I figured the Duals would be overkill. My buddy will fab a "Test Pipe", that & a Walker DynoMax muff oughta free up the exhaust sufficiently.
There are plenty of boneyards around here full of cars from the 50's on up so parts won't be a problem.

The DursSpark II ignition is a high-energy electronic unit so I will probably just keep it.
I understand the difference between Manifold & Ported vacuum. (An oversimplified explanation: on acceleration, Ported increases as throttle opens, Manifold decreases.)
*Maybe a Power Valve that opens at a higher vacuum could be beneficial as well, if one could be found.. perhaps from an earlier carb...

This is the same basic engine in my buddy's '66 Ranchero, and his runs great on Ported vacuum. Rerouting a hose and experimenting w/ the Initial timing and cannister setting is all it will cost me (plus the fun of road-testing). Well worth a try, I think.

This same basic engine produced 120 HP from '65 to '71 (Stock). In '79 it's rated at 85 HP. That's a 35 HP difference, and while the '62 figure is probably Gross, and the '81 figure is probably Net, I still don't think that would account for a 35 HP difference.
My guess is this engine lost 10-15 HP when the Feds strangled it.

My goal is to bring it back to as close to 120 HP as I can w/o increasing the compression ratio or putting big buck manifolds or headers on it.
Why should I? Ford got 120 HP out of it w/o 'em, why can't I?

There's still alot of research I must do, since this is my 1st Ford Inline 6.
I know that on many V8's, the manuf. often kept very similar (if not the same) cam grinds and just retarded the cam timing to comply w/ Emissions Regs.
That's why I think advancing the Stock cam will be beneficial. It's worked very well for me on V8's. I'm glad this is a very simple engine to wrench on.

Thanks again for your input. I'm still up for more ideas...
(Hey, anyone else out there build 1/25 scale cars too?
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Old 10-31-2002, 03:00 PM
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You might compare the timing gears at a parts store for your engine and an early 200, Ford changed the timing in the gears early on, when they made the emission adjustments and an early set of gears may advance you without having to degree. Another mod that was done in the Hot Rod build was the addition of the carb from a 240 ( a 300 would probably do the same) all that was done was to taper the upper part of the plate between the carb and head, gave a noticeable increase and was one of the most cost effective changes they made.
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Old 10-31-2002, 07:55 PM
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Great Tips, Woodz! Thanx!
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Old 08-22-2006, 01:51 AM
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